Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Times Endorses Harris for Position 6

A little corner of hell froze over at about 5 pm today as the Seattle Times endorsed challenger, Leslie Harris, over incumbent, Marty McLaren saying:

Voters should chose (sic) Leslie Harris for Seattle School Board District 6

They go on to say - in the first sentence - "Voters should oust incumbent Marty McLaren from Seattle School Board District 6 and bring in longtime parent advocate Leslie Harris."

They use words like "detail-oriented" and "analytical" and "transparency" to describe Harris.

They described McLaren as "complacent" and complained that she could not give a "substantive example" of her consensus building at their editorial board meeting.

They mention the third candidate in the race, Nick Esparza, as well.

Swinging back the other way, they chose the candidate other than Jill Geary in the District 3 race.  I put it that way because the Times didn't even have the grace to name Geary as her opponent (nor mention Stephen Clayton who is also running).


This was a decidedly odd, yet typical, Times endorsement.  They mention all of the candidate's experience including the fact that she is a member of the School Board Leaders for the Future group.  Now I knew this because she was introduced at their opening meeting as being part of their leadership group.  And now, magically, her name has disappeared from their website. 

I guess it looks strange to be part of group that says it knows all the best practices for school board directors when you are running for the first time to be a school board director.  (I'll note that the only person at that meeting to say they were considering running was me and a couple of people from Federal Way.)

The Times manages to bring in the dreaded "micromanaging" term and stress that their favored candidate will avoid it.

What is odd is that they mention her endorsement by current Board members, all of whom are exiting the Board.  They say, "Having existing relationships with board members and with school district staff should be an asset as long as she prioritizes what is best for students, not her alliances or the teachers union."

Wait, what?  They like her "existing relationships" but not her mystery "alliances."  And fyi to the Times and all the candidates running - you DO need to have a good working relationship with the all the unions that work for the district.

Can't wait to see what they say about the other races.

38 comments:

Matt said...

I found one of McGuire's questionnaires to be disturbing. McGuire was asked about her ability to fundraise. McGuire's answer was very general and she claimed that she will have enough funds to "win an election". Odd.

Anonymous said...

Harris, who may come across as abrasive in her critiques of board policies and decisions, will need to demonstrate her ability to collaborate with other board members and find solutions — not just problems.

She needs to tone it way back, because the SW folks might like her rudeness, but I think others will find it a turn off. I hope she is listening!

Voter

Greenwoody said...

Everyone here who thinks that SPS central staff are doing a great job, have adequate oversight, and are held accountable for their mistakes, raise your hand.

Everyone else, you're voting for Jill Geary.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it really matters what the times writes, but I'm not voting for a lawyer who excepted contributions from other lawyers who screwed over regular people. She has raised $24,000 much of it from lawyers....I don't trust her one bit. I don't care what she says they are all in the same club and they all stick together and she will side with SPS legal term, because that's what lawyers do best!

Voting for Steve

mirmac1 said...

Voting for Steve,

Have you met Jill? If you did, you would see where your suspicions are totally off base. She has represented parents in actions against agencies that were hurting students. She has acted as an administrative law judge!

But, hey, in your book lawyers are all the same and just call her Mrs Ron English. *phut!*

Hope Steve has better informed supporters than you.

Anonymous said...

I woke up this morning and looked at the endorsements and was really glad to see Lauren endorsed. I don't know Jill and have never met her, so I'm not making any negative comment here about Jill. Why I know Lauren though is what makes me want to vote for her: Over the last 5 years she has been at almost every big school-related meeting I went to. When I approached her asked her questions (because I didn't understand about something) she filled me in giving me both pros and cons. I asked her several times over the years to explain something to me, and have always been struck by how she looks at the bigger picture and takes lots of things into consideration and basically has a thoughtful approach, to people and issues. She has been around working in schools for a long time.

north end mom of 2

Anonymous said...

" She has acted as an administrative law judge! "

I don't understand the relevance? Are you saying she would be biased? She can interpret laws? What do you mean by that statement?


:)

Sigh said...

I find School Board Leaders for the Future to be a concerning group. DeBell (and probably his political allies) are heavily involved with this group. Dexter Tang's name is on documents that indicated he started this group- which is a joke. Tang has decided to follow the path or Seattle's political and corporate pooh bahs.

It will be interesting to watch the PDC AFTER endorsements have been procured.

Anonymous said...

"Hope Steve has better informed supporters than you"

You do realize your above statement makes no sense. You think his more informed supports will vote for Jill. *phut!*

:)

Anonymous said...

Voting for Steve:

If Geary "excepted" those lawyer contributions, you should vote for her, right?

However, if she "accepted" them, then you might not want to.

Please spell, punctuate and capitalize properly when commenting on education-related threads.

WSDWG

Sigh said...

McGuire supports "data" and "change management". How does she feel about linking test scores to teacher performance, testing etc. She also is supportive of "change management". What does this mean? The only time I saw the words "change management" was on city documents....teachers were overwhelmed with the number of initiatives coming at them and the city recommended "change managers".

I'm voting Geary.

Anonymous said...

"She also is supportive of "change management". What does this mean? "

You might try using Google before posting, there are numerous returns for change management.

It means she is for managing changes in the district using guiding principles. Maybe she should reveal what the guiding principles are she would use. SPS seems out of control when it comes to management. She also said she wont try and manage the administrators or superintendent, so whats the point of the change management statement? Is she intending on managing the board or is she going to create yet another POLICY the staff will ignore?

:)

mirmac1 said...

An ALJ does not take sides. Not biased. Won't side with SPS. Doh!

As for more informed supporters remark, I guess I should have said supporters who don't say things like "I don't care what she says they are all in the same club and they all stick together..." In other words, supporters who uses logic and reasoning when they cast their vote.

Are we clear?

Anonymous said...

"An ALJ does not take sides. Not biased. Won't side with SPS. Doh!"

So she will put the district at further risk of lawsuits by pointing out the district's violations of law? I don't think her being a lawyer helps the district and it might hurt it if as you wrote "Won't side with SPS. Doh!". What did Peter Maier do as a lawyer to help the district?


I don't think your statements are helping her, because you still haven't made an effective argument why her having been an ALJ makes her more qualified to be on the board than her opponents.


Remember she is running for school board not lead counsel.

:)

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have the data on how relevant receiving the Times endorsement is for wining? It's really confusing why the times picked Harris, it seems she is going to create issues because of her abrasive style and go against the Times agenda. Is that what the Times wants a big knock down drag out fight among the board members? The other candidates seem much more level headed and considerate than Harrris. I don't think there could be two Times endorsed candidates more philosophically apart than Harris and McGuire. I smell a rat!


Voter

mirmac1 said...

I agree Voter. I would think McLaren would be the Times' dream candidate (rubberstamp, gullible etc).

:), and Clayton is qualified how? I've provided more "effective argument" in support of my candidate than your blanket dismissal and essentially zero argument in favor of your chosen candidate.

I have less than zero interest in persuading you, only in calling you out on your "they're all the same" rationale(using the term loosely).

You better get busy doorbelling.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Melissa Westbrook said...

Voter, I've never seen anyone do that analysis on endorsements (from the Times, Stranger or anyone else).

I think one person's "abrasive" is another person's go-getter. I feel we have way too many "go along to get along" Directors and yes, I want someone who will speak up for transparency and accountability.

Is the Times trying to set up a battle? Hm, I don't think so. I think they clearly saw that McLaren had brought little to the table except her nice personality and her wanting to find common ground. For many of us (and the Times) that wasn't enough.

Anonymous said...

As you always write, you can disagree without being disagreeable. We do need more
go-getter types, but that's not how she comes off. I truly believe if the rest of the district voters hear her speak they will be turned off by her. It looks like you are close to her, so maybe you can give her a little coaching? She has good intentions, but a bit too harsh of a delivery.

Voter

Lynn said...

I too have noticed that Harris can sound a bit rough. She also seems well informed and aware that many of the district's problems originate downtown. At this point, I'm willing to put up with someone who is a little less polished in the hope that she and Sue Peters and Betty Patu can get some changes made.

I'd quite enjoy hearing her reaction to some of the crazy ideas staff come up with. I wish she'd been on the board when Charles Wright was whining about how looking at bell time changes was too much work, when it became obvious that Teaching and Learning management was trying to undermine the board on the math adoption and when the district's inept, cruel and unsympathetic response to a child's claim that she had been raped was revealed.

I think a plain-talking, principled and intelligent board member is what we need.

Anonymous said...

Ah the old reverse psychology trick with Harris. I see what they are doing picking the candidate they don't want, so all the anti-Times crowd will vote for someone else.

I think if it comes down to Harris VS McLaren in the general its going to be very close, but if Harris goes off on one of her tirades in print, radio or TV then she will lose. Is there anyway Nick E will make it to the general? I don't think so.

Remember there are just as many people who think everything is great at SPS as there are those who know things are dysfunctional. I think Mclaren has support outside of WS. There are also thousands of new Seattle voters without children, how will they vote? When in doubt they avoid the candidates with the most negative campaigns. Maybe WS should be it's own district, because there sure seems to be a lot of negativity emanating from that area.

Voter

Anonymous said...

I don't think I'm for a candidate. I'm just very leery of lawyers and lawyers for lawyers. Some lawyers come off arrogant and might want to attempt to dominate the board, because of an elevated sense of importance. Some lawyers don't think twice about screwing over someone. How did the last board lawyer work out? I just think in the end lawyers have a different set or rules they operate by due to their professional obligations and the bar. I look forward to seeing what the lawyer has to say as the general election rolls around. May be I'm wrong or just maybe I'm right?

:)

Melissa Westbrook said...

I don't even know who the last lawyer on the Board was - anybody? Or are you talking about the District's legal counsel? You clearly have a dislike of lawyers and that's a pity because there are good and bad people in every profession. And "the lawyer" has a name; it's Jill Geary.

(Lastly, unless you are Prince, no symbols - give yourself a name.)

Anonymous said...

the 3, 13 and 30 rule about 'abrasive'.

I love the concern trolling of Voter. Do YOU find her abrasive, or, you're just wringing your hands about what others might think?

In my decades of politics, people like Voter: might be 1 of the 3 people who complain about everyone they don't like with term like 'abrasive' [negative, angry, ... ] and these 3 people actually do a lot, or Voter might be 1 of the 13 who do a bit and sling the negative / angry / bitter ... stuff, of Voter might be 1 of the 30 who really doesn't do much of anything. Regardless, I'd recommend that Voter gets his or her peeps to the polls.

There are a lot of people who listen to the whispers and innuendo from the 3, the 13 and the 30 because they keep electing go along get along don't rock the boat I-love-the-boss people like our current City Council, or the school board crowd who worshipped MG-J.

Someday the whisper people might have the knees and the spines to just stand up and publicly advocate for being

BossToadies

Melissa Westbrook said...

I don't even know who the last lawyer on the Board was - anybody? Or are you talking about the District's legal counsel? You clearly have a dislike of lawyers and that's a pity because there are good and bad people in every profession. And "the lawyer" has a name; it's Jill Geary.

(Lastly, unless you are Prince, no symbols - give yourself a name.)

Anonymous said...

I guess it's ok when someone is abrasive towards the district or a current board member you don't seem to care for, but it's different if someone is calling one of your "PEEPS" (are you 12?) abrasive. I don't know did anyone else read the Times endorsement it reads,

"Harris, who may come across as abrasive in her critiques of board policies and decisions, will need to demonstrate her ability to collaborate with other board members and find solutions — not just problems."

Why don't you guys start a campaign against the Times for calling Harris abrasive. It should be easy since many of you are united in your hatred of the Times.

I think the Times endorsement has you guys running in circles knocking heads.

The great Satan is no more, oh wait they didn't pick all your PEEPs. So now you can still hate the Times.

Voter

Anonymous said...

Voter: If you are seriously defending the Times in any way, shape, or form, in relation to their Ed Board's feigned concern about SPS, which masks their true fox guarding the hen house privatization and union busting agendas, I suggest you stop playing the fool now. Or go try your act at an open mic somewhere in town, because it's hilarious.

Beyond that, I assume most readers of this blog are blase toward passive-aggressive pot-stirring by this point in time.

And Harris is already in by a landslide, which the Times already knows. Their "endorsement" is to save face and not look foolish.

WSDWG

Anonymous said...

I completely agree that Harris gets the angry WS vote in both the primary and general, but don't think she is going to win the general election by a landslide, unless the incumbent? doesn't make the general. I'm predicting it will be very close and as I said, her mouth plays well to the angry WS crowd, not so much with the rest of the city. BTW I'm also not defending the Times, I don't subscribe to the paper or it's opinions. If Harris just tones it down and doesn't spout off then she has a very good chance in the general.

Voter

Anonymous said...

Like the pine trees lining the winding roads
I've got a name, I've got a name
Like a singin' bird and a croakin' toad
I've got a name, I've got a name
And I carry it with me like my daddy did

Prince

Melissa Westbrook said...

What angry WS crowd? I haven't seen this at the WestSeattle blog.

And there you go... Prince. (With apologies to Jim Croce)

Anonymous said...

Resistance was futile!

Now back to my regular broadcast.

Prince :)

mirmac1 said...

If a tree farts in the forest, does it make a sound? Not when it's Prince.

Anonymous said...

Voter - you're doing a great job mimicking someone somewhat short on the bandwidth to start a smear campaign, but, who excels as 1 of the vapid back alley whispering busy bodies passing along the smears. Since there is a blog rule against calling people names, I am just discussing possible behavior, not slinging labels.

I really really enjoy how Seattle "liberals" and "progressives" use this Joe McCarthy type tactic to express concern ... and ... smear. WSDWG hits it outta the park, again.

Well, time to get back to polishing my shrine of Bill! ... can anyone imagine what life would be like without Bill! Who would plant the shirts, who would harvest the water - we'd all be unshirted and thirsty!

BossToady

Anonymous said...

Well, it's always just barely possible that the Times gang just thinks McLaren has lost her ability to do what "they" want when "they" want it [insert your own definition of "they" ;o)] Sure, theoretically, one catches more flies with honey vs vinegar, but geez, where has all the Board honey gotten this joint? Nowhere except totally at the mercy of the City's whims it seems.

I lost all respect for Ms. McLaren quite a while ago. I can live with the tradeoffs of a little potential abrasion if it brings results.

reader47

Anonymous said...

Ah that's the question, will it bring results or turn off others? I can say from experience it's really hard to listen to her "lectures". If you think Carr hogged the mic at board meetings just wait until Harris gets the spotlight.

I think the newbies might have the best intentions of bringing the hammer, but reality will set-in very quickly. Do any of the newbies actually have a plan for positive change in any area that can be implemented in their first 30 days, or is it all just election rhetoric.

Voter

Anonymous said...

BossToady

I apologize for my rudeness, but do I need a secret decoder ring to decrypt your message? Read a lot of Allen Ginsberg do you?


Voter

Anonymous said...

"Voter" says:
--
"I think if it comes down to Harris VS McLaren in the general its going to be very close, but if Harris goes off on one of her tirades in print, radio or TV then she will lose. Is there anyway Nick E will make it to the general? I don't think so."
--
I say:

You are delusional. Harris will win in the primary and in the general by a whopping margin, because she can campaign and Marty can't. What is more, every one of what you call her "tirades" will be backed up by fact. She does, after all gather and present evidence for a living, in cases involving Fortune 500 corporations, with tens of millions of dollars on the line.

Your criticism of her is -- there's no nice way to say it -- pretty ignorant, and not at all credible. Leslie will be a great School Board member, and if you are capable of it, you will be embarrassed for having spewed your nonsense in this thread.

-- Ivan Weiss

Anonymous said...

I'm voting for Geary because she is a special education advocate, and expert. The most marginalized students in the district need visibility. Being a special education lawyer is more like being an advocate than being a regular lawyer. Special ed lawyers don't get rich, and they aren't in it for themselves. I like that she's been an ALJ. That means she has an inkling of the law. Mcquire is also great. Too bad both good candidates are from the same region.

As to Harris. We need some abrasive. Seattle-nice isn't cutting it for our students. McLaren is a 0 on the left. So is Peaslee and Martin-Morris. They are Seattle-nice, and not abrasive. Big deal. They are also useless.

Another voter